January 2011

NMDC Newsletter: January 2011
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NMDC Newsletter: January 2011
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Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:

and much more…


  CHARITABLE GIVING
 

Government’s philanthropy plan includes £30m match funding from DCMS

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP outlined the Government’s action plan to boost philanthropy in the cultural sector in a speech to the annual conference of the European Association of Philanthropy and Giving on 8 December.  Mr Hunt said that “philanthropy is not about replacing state funding with private support. Instead it is about a highly ambitious aim for this country to combine the best of US-style philanthropic support with the best of European-style public support.”  He noted that “three-fifths of Britain’s biggest donors – those giving more than £100 a month – have incomes of less than £26,000 per year”, and drew comparisons with the United States, where “those who earn more than £150,000 give eight times more than those in the UK”.  The plan comprises:
  1. An £80 million match funding scheme, with the potential to raise more than £160 million through a series of grants.  This will provide a range of support for smaller organisations, those outside London, and larger bodies, including those who want to develop endowments.  It will be funded by £30 million from DCMS’s spending review settlement over four years (11/12-14/15), and up to £50 million of Lottery funding from Arts Council England over five years (11/12-15/16); 
  2. A Government review of what more can be done to encourage philanthropy, reporting in the spring;
  3. More visible public recognition for philanthropy, which could include greater recognition through the honours system;
  4. The development of fundraising skills and capacity across the culture sector – including through development of a culture of ‘asking’ as well as ‘giving’;
  5. The promotion of increased “planned giving”, including legacy giving - with an ambition for the UK to become the first country in the world in which it becomes the norm to leave 10 per cent or more of one’s legacy to charity;
  6. Support for the long-term development of endowments;
  7. Harnessing digital technology to boost philanthropy.
  8. Increasing giving from international donors.
  9. Encouraging more investment by the business sector - which already invests £150 million a year in the cultural sector.  This will include a series of events and initiatives throughout 2011;.and
  10. Strengthening links between culture and other sectors which are supported through philanthropy, such as charities, community groups or social enterprises.
NMDC issued a statement welcoming the announcement and the tribute paid to the generous donors who have already contributed so much to the sector. NMDC looks forward to continued working with Government as their plans become clearer and believes it will be important to get the details right to ensure that the proposals have lasting impact.  The Government review of how philanthropy can be encouraged will offer a crucial opportunity to look at changes to the tax regime and other incentives to support one off and regular giving.  The 2008 publication Private Giving for the Public Good, by NMDC and other cultural sector partners, outlines a number of suggested areas for reform.  www.nationalmuseums.org.uk On the day of his speech, the Guardian carried an article by Mr Hunt, - together with the Cabinet Office Minister, Frances Maude MP, and the Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts MP - which described the Government’s plans to encourage people to donate both time and money as part of the Government’s “big society” strategy Guardian  

Endowments for museums and the arts

Alongside Mr Hunt’s philanthropy announcement, DCMS also published the reports it had commissioned from Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, on the use of endowments in museums and the arts.  Emphasising that “the key to endowment fundraising is a deep lifelong engagement with a museum” and that “there can be no better time to begin that process than now”, Mr MacGregor’s report outlines a number of areas – including providing incentives, building long-term relationships and recognising donors’ generosity - where DCMS museums and the Government could help encourage endowments and broader philanthropic activity. Neil MacGregor concludes that Museums could also articulate the need for endowments better, ensure fundraising is given adequate priority and expand and improve donor relationships. Alan Davey's recommendations included a match-funding scheme and support for organisations in building fundraising capacity in the arts. In his speech on 8 December, Mr Hunt conceded that building endowments "is not a short-term venture; not something that will make a huge difference to finances in the next few challenging years”, but outlined longer-term ambitions: "in a hundred years time, I want people to look back and say that the multi-billion pound endowments owned by our national cultural organisations put their first roots in the ground back in 2010."  Neil MacGregor's report     Alan Davey's report

Big Society plan for a new culture of generosity

The Cabinet Office published the Giving Green Paper on 29 December, outlining the Government's proposals for building a stronger culture of giving time and money.  These include a commitment to a Government review of the relationship between financial incentives and giving.  Other proposals include raising the visibility of giving; promoting new opportunities for giving time and money, including for people who want to 'microvolunteer', or donate short periods of time; and extending the “philanthropy ambassadors” programme.  The consultation runs until 9 March, to be followed by a White Paper later this year.  Giving Green Paper

Finance Bill 2011 - reducing barriers to substantial donations to charities

The draft Finance Bill 2011 published by the Government on 9 December includes measures that are likely to make it easier for charities to manage relationships with substantial donors by relaxing the law on the provision of benefits to donors.  The draft legislation replaces the anti-avoidance legislation on substantial donors to charities, which was introduced in 2006 to counter known abuse of the charity tax reliefs.  Charities, including national museums, have argued that the existing legislation creates administrative burdens, catches unintended transactions and discourages large donations to charities.  The Finance Bill will introduce new rules that deny tax relief on donations only for "tainted charity donations", and in such cases the tax relief would be reclaimed from the donor not the charity.  HM Revenue & Customs has worked with the charity sector to develop the draft legislation and the Government expects the changes will reduce costs for charities as they will not be required to track donors as closely as under the current rules. This is the first time the Government has published a draft Finance Bill in advance, with the aim of enabling wider scrutiny in advance of the legislative process, and the Government is inviting comments to ensure the legislation works as intended.  The deadline for comments is 9 February.  The Budget will be published on 23 March 2011, and the Finance Bill will be published on 31 March 2011.  Draft Finance Bill    Draft legislation on charity donations.

The Artist as Philanthropist

The Aspen Institute has published a new report on private foundations endowed by visual artists in the United States.  The Artist as Philanthropist: Strengthening the Next Generation of Artist-Endowed Foundations provides an overview of the emerging artist-endowed foundation field, its origins, current status, trends and prospects and a summary of considerations in forming, sustaining, and terminating artist-endowed foundations and running their charitable programmes.  The report argues that artists-endowed foundations are poised to be a force shaping cultural philanthropy in the US: the number of such institutions nearly doubled between 1990 and 2005.  The study identified 300 artist-endowed foundations holding total assets worth $2.68bn, including more than $1bn in art assets.  Together they made charitable grants worth almost £1bn between 1995 and 2005.  Aspen Institute    Artist as Philanthropist report  

100 years of major acquisitions in lieu of tax

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme celebrated its centenary year in 2009-10, during which 33 items worth £15.7m were acquired by the nation in lieu of tax and transferred to museums, galleries and the National Trust.  Highlights, detailed in the scheme’s annual report published on 1 December, included the transfer into public ownership of the great Vanbrugh house of Seaton Delaval, one of the finest Baroque houses of the 18th century, now in the custody of the National Trust, as well as a collection of some of the finest photographs of the 20th century, a bronze Degas statue and medals of a Battle of Britain pilot.  The scheme, which was created by an Act of Parliament in 1910, allows those liable to Inheritance Tax to pay their tax bill by offering important heritage land, buildings and objects to the nation. The scheme has been managed by MLA for the past decade during which time over 300 individual offers in lieu, valued at over £235m, have been transferred to museums and archives across the UK.  MLA has also announced that Tim Knox, Director of the Sir John Soane's Museum, has been appointed to succeed Jonathan Scott who is retiring after 10 years as Chairman of the Acceptance in Lieu Panel from 1 January. MLA website

Philanthropy: an independent view

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, has written a blog on the DCMS website on the Government’s plans to boost philanthropy, in which he emphasises the need to make more of existing tax incentives as well as introducing changes to the tax system. More 

Also

A new data report on corporate philanthropy in the United States shows that shows that the majority of companies gave less in 2009, but contributions in aggregate rose. More On 2 December the House of Lords had a two and a half hour debate on the case for encouraging philanthropy.  The debate was called by Lord Janvrin, a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, and speakers included many with direct experience of running charities.  Peers widely supported the need for measures to promote philanthropy including incentives for lifetime giving.  More

  PUBLIC SPENDING CUTS
 

13% real terms cut for culture in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive’s Draft Budget for 2011-15 was announced by the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson MP MLA, on 15 December 2010.  On 30 December, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) published details of its spending and savings proposals over the period 2011-15.  DCAL’s baseline in current expenditure will fall by 9% by 2014/15, or by almost 13% in real terms.  The budget for National Museums Northern Ireland will be cut from £17.55m this year to £15.59m in 2014/15.  A public consultation on both the NI Executive Draft Budget and DCAL’s spending and savings runs until 9 February. DCAL budget      NI Executive Draft Budget.

Local authority budgets cut by up to 8.9% next year

Cuts to local authorities were announced on 13 December by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP. The average reduction in spending across all councils will be 4.4% in 2011-12, with some councils facing reductions of up to 8.9% in 2011-12 or 2012-13. Communities and Local Government Mr Pickles was quoted as follows in the Birmingham Post and other regional papers on 14 December: "Before we see libraries cut and all these kinds of things, I want to see councils merge their back office functions. I would like to see them sharing chief executives, their legal department, their accounts department, their payroll, their IT, their planning, their education support functions. And when they have done all that, if they feel they have to close libraries, they should talk to me again." Birmingham Post

Localism Bill heralds “new era of people power”

The Government also published the Localism Bill on 13 December.  The Bill includes measures to establish new rights for local people and communities to hold their local authorities to account. Local people and communities will have new rights to challenge to take over services, to bid to buy local assets “such as libraries, pubs and shops”; and to veto excessive council tax rises through a referendum. The Bill also devolves new powers to councils, including the power to create directly elected mayors in 12 cities. Communities and Local Government

  OTHER GOVERNMENT & POLITICS NEWS
 

MPs propose statutory duty to provide cultural services

Alison McGovern MP has proposed an amendment to the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to require local authorities to provide cultural facilities, such as art galleries, museums and theatres. Arguing that the Secretary of State's power to protect the public education role of libraries should be extended to the wider cultural service,  Ms McGovern said she wants the Bill "to start a debate, to highlight those councils that do great work and to determine whether we need protection in law for the cultural services provided by local authorities."  Ms McGovern was supported by Tristram Hunt MP, Stephen Twigg MP and David Miliband MP.  The Bill has been ordered to be printed and is scheduled to have a Second Reading on Friday 17 June.   Hansard record

New direction for Big Lottery Fund to focus on voluntary and community sector

The Tourism and Heritage Minister, John Penrose MP, has issued a new policy direction that requires the Big Lottery Fund to focus its funding in England on projects that support the voluntary and community sector.  The DCMS statement said: "While it is for Big Lottery Fund, to decide which projects to fund, John Penrose has made clear he sees no reason why the direction should inhibit its ability to fund charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations working in consortia with local authorities, veterans, parish councils or community projects in schools." The policy direction should not impact on existing award holders. DCMS statement

Ask Ed Vaizey

Among the questions answered by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP in a second YouTube video the DCMS has posted are queries on local arts, corporate philanthropy, and a question on education services in museums posted by Morna Hinton, Head of Learning at the V&A.  Mr Vaizey said he would like to see more museum learning departments working with video games developers and filmmakers to engage young people. DCMS

Museum professionals question Culture Minister

Museum professionals questioned Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP about the role for culture in the Big Society and the protection of local museum services amid budget reductions at an event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on 16 December.  Responding to questions on museum closures, the Minister said that the Government would keep a close eye on the situation. He said “I don’t want to mandate - the responsibility lies with the local authorities. [Central government] mustn’t interfere with local government decisions.” Mr. Vaizey was supportive of the English Heritage initiative of appointing ‘cultural champions’ to local government to make sure that decision-makers at regional and local level had an appreciation of the value of museums, “but you can’t legislate for that.”  The event was organised by Collections Trust as part of OpenCulture, a 3-year campaign by the Collections Trust to ensure that collections are available for enjoyment and use by everyone.  Video and audio from the event is available on the Collections Trust website. Collections Trust

Also

As widely reported in December, the Culture Secretary has taken over responsibility for media policy from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP.  Civil servants who work on this area will be moving from BIS to DCMS.

  MUSEUM POLICY ROUND-UP
 

Arts Council England confirms it will take over some MLA functions

Arts Council England (ACE) announced on 9 December that it has agreed to take over a number of the functions relating to museums and libraries, following the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). As anticipated in a DCMS statement on 23 November, the principle responsibilities to be assumed by the ACE are:
  • The Renaissance in the Regions programme for regional museums, including completion of the re-design of the programme’s content and operation
  • The regional museums improvement and development agenda, including the Accreditation Standard and the Designation Scheme, and projects relating to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad
  • Responsibilities for  improvement and development of libraries;
  • Cultural property functions including, for example, export licensing, Government Indemnity, acceptance in lieu and security advice.
ACE will not be taking on the MLA’s strategic archive functions. ACE has been allocated a budget of around £46 million a year by DCMS to deliver the additional functions, of which £43.4 is for Renaissance.  The ACE statement warns that "the limited resources available for the rest of the work mean that the Arts Council will have to do a very focused job" Liz Forgan, Chair of ACE, said: “This is a unique opportunity to join together the historic and the contemporary; to do away with the artificial divide caused by different funding streams and create a more coherent cultural offer. We want everyone in this country to have the opportunity to discover art, culture, history and science through a rich and varied network of local museums, arts organisations and libraries.” Detailed discussions are now underway between the ACE, MLA and DCMS to manage the transfer of responsibilities, and to determine quickly the criteria for the new Renaissance Programme and the basis on which grants can be made for 2011/12 to organisations funded by the MLA.  The transfer of functions from MLA to ACE will be completed during 2011, so that the MLA can close down by March 2012.  Arts Council England

MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund

Members of the House of Lords have raised concerns about the future of the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund after the abolition of MLA.  The fund, which last year gave out £896,000, is administered by the V&A for the purchase of objects relating to the arts, literature and history.  Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Lord Howarth of Newport, Lord Redesdale and Lord Allan of Hallam wrote a letter to The Times on 13 December urging DCMS, MLA and ACE to ensure that the fund continues to be supported. In response to a Parliamentary question from Lord Smith of Finsbury on 21 December, the Minister Baroness Rawlings said Arts Council England was to take over “a number of the functions relating to museums and libraries, including the V&A purchase grant.” She continued, "Arts Council England will be consulting with the museums sector in the new year on this and other aspects of the museums functions it is inheriting, before reaching a conclusion about the level of funding that will be made available to these grants for the next spending period."  Lord Howarth of Newport has secured a debate on the Purchase Grant Fund in the House of Lords on 13 January.  Hansard record  Forthcoming debates The PRISM Fund, a parallel fund which supports the acquisition of objects illustrating the history of science, industry or technology has now closed for the remainder of 2010-2011. A statement on the MLA website advises that the process for deciding future grant funding remains to be finally agreed and discussions on this will be taking place during the next few weeks. MLA

Think-tank recommends new development body for Scottish Museums

A think-tank of leading museum professionals in Scotland has made recommendations to the Scottish Government intended to steer Scotland's museums and galleries towards a more sustainable future.  The recommendations include:
  • Separating the functions currently delivered by Museums and Galleries Scotland (MGS) to create a National Development Body for museums and galleries (NDB) which has no representation or membership functions, and is charged with supporting and advising the sector, encouraging new partnerships and developing a national strategy for museums and galleries;
  • Simplifying the Accreditation Scheme and transferring administration from MGS to the new NDB;
  • The establishment by the Scottish Government of a Forum to advise on and support the development and implementation of the strategy for museums and galleries;
  • Specific Scottish Government funding for three industrial museums;
  • Establishment of a federation of industrial museums; and
  • Use of the Recognition Scheme as a tool to prioritise funding.
Responding to publication of the Think Tank’s report Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP said “a healthy museums and galleries sector is vital for Scotland's cultural life, for education and for attracting visitors to all parts of the country.”  The Minister announced that the Scottish Government would now work with the sector to implement the recommendations of the Think Tank.  Scottish Government

HM Treasury methodology should be used to articulate the value of culture

A new report commissioned by DCMS concludes that the cultural sector should use the economic valuation (rather than economic impact) techniques supported by the HM Treasury's Green Book when articulating its value to central government. The report is part of larger programme of collaboration between DCMS, research councils and cultural organisations to lead a step change in understanding and methodology regarding the measurement of cultural value.  Written by Dr David O’Brien from Leeds Metropolitan University on fellowship that was jointly-funded by AHRC, ESRC and DCMS, the report explores the debates around cultural value and considers several solutions to the problem of how to value culture and valuation models used successfully in other sectors.  The report recommends that DCMS, in consultation with the cultural sector, should create clear guidance on how to use the economic valuation techniques already deployed across central government and recommended by HM Treasury.  It also recommends DCMS developing close links with academics working in the field of cultural economics. DCMS

UK Jodi Awards 2010

The Winners of the UK Jodi Awards 2010 for accessible digital culture were announced on 1 December at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.  The Jodi Awards are for best use of digital technology to widen access for disabled people to information, collections and learning.  Historic Royal Palaces won the Digital Access Online award for its British Sign Language visitor information.  The British Dental Association Museum won the Digital Access for People with a Learning Disability award for its Medicine at the Movies project.  Jodi Awards

Museums & Galleries: Survival Strategies

Renaissance North West in partnership with ARUP has published Museums & Art Galleries - Survival Strategies:  a guide to reducing operating costs and improving sustainability. It includes case studies, a five-step plan for institutions, plus a table of 205 initiatives to help museums select optimal upgrade initiatives. Renaissance North West

Flexible Family Ticket Guidelines

Kids in Museums has published Flexible Family Ticket Guidelines, to help museums and galleries to introduce family tickets to fit the full variety of contemporary family structures.  The five recommendations are based on responses to a consultation with visitors and call for clear communication, simplicity, good value and flexibility.  Kids in Museums has also published a report on the commercial considerations of introducing flexible family tickets, including income generating opportunities through increased secondary spend and attracting new families who would not otherwise visit.  Kids in Museums

Register now for Museums at Night 2011

Cultural institutions are being encouraged to complete their registrations for Culture24's Museums at Night 2011 by mid-January, in order to take full advantage of the programme's media coverage.  The weekend-long project, which last year saw over 280 museums and galleries across the UK open their doors after hours, will this year take place from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 May, with events including gallery gigs, twilight screenings, midnight murder mysteries and all-night sleepovers.  Museums at Night aims to bring new visitors to museums and galleries: last year, 85,000 visitors attended the various events, nearly half of whom had never been to the visited venue before.  Media coverage was also extensive: the programme featured in over 200 articles across 158 publications. Culture24 has announced a series of new key partnerships to support Museums at Night: Arts Council England, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Historic Houses Association and Arts Marketing Association have all agreed to support next year’s campaign, adding to the support of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and marketing support from VisitEngland.  Museums at Night

Benefits of linking up culture and business

Getting Down to Business, a new report published by the MLA and Sparknow, highlights the many practical and surprising ways in which London’s businesses can profitably work with its museums, libraries and archives. The report is a collection of essays and experiences from the Knowledge Transfer Programme in London’s museums, libraries and archives, a two-year research and pilot programme involving more than 100 professionals in the cultural sector.  The report shows how cultural organisations can help businesses and entrepreneurs learn from the past, develop ideas and innovate, and how they can provide inspiration, education and training opportunities.  MLA  

Also

The Museums Association is seeking talented, motivated and creative people to stand for its newly-constituted board.  Board members will be expected to drive the strategic direction of The Museums Association, help shape the future of the museum sector, develop new policy and initiatives, and lobby government and be advocates for all museums. The closing date for applications is 31 January.  More   The Museums Association is also seeking proposals for sessions at its Annual Conference and Exhibition 2011, which takes place in Brighton between 3-4 October. The deadline for proposals is 18 February. More

  CULTURAL PROPERTY
 

Spoliation claim for Rubens oil sketch is rejected

The Spoliation Advisory Panel has rejected a claim for a Rubens oil sketch in the possession of the Samuel Courtauld Trust.  The Panel concluded that Herbert Gutmann, a German banker and art collector, sold The Coronation of the Virgin, an oil sketch by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, in 1934 to repay business debts he had incurred in the early 1930s and that the actions of the Nazis, were a subsidiary and causally insignificant factor in his decision to sell his collection.  The Panel also found that he achieved a fair price for the sale of the painting. The Panel concluded that the claimants’ moral case was therefore weak and that the painting should not be restituted to the family. The work was acquired by the Courtauld as part of the Princes Gate Bequest.  In 2007 the Panel rejected another claim for three Rubens paintings in the Courtauld's possession, which were part of the same bequest.  Spoliation Advisory Panel  In 2009 the Spoliation Advisory Panel rejected a claim from the heirs of Curt Glaser for four drawings in the Courtauld collection.  The Art Newspaper reports this month that the lawyer for the Glaser claimants has asked for the case to be re-examined following a decision by the Dutch Restitutions Committee to uphold a claim from the Glaser heirs.  The Art Newspaper quotes a DCMS source saying that this would only be considered if “significant new evidence is produced.”  Dutch Restitution Committee   www.theartnewspaper.com

National Treasures worth £10m saved from export in 2009-10

The 56th annual report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, published last month, highlights 13 outstanding cultural objects and works of art which came before the Committee between 1 May 2009 and 30 April 2010.  Six items worth just over £10 million in total, including a collection of Thomas Hardy typescripts, a set of historical watercolours of the 1839 Eglinton Tournament, a Welsh landscape by William Dyce and the archives of political radical Thomas Walker were saved from export in the last year and will remain in public collections across the UK. Matching funds could not be raised for seven items found to be of outstanding significance:  A carved ivory Oliphant, a rock-crystal ewer, a painting by Cornelis van Haarlem, a painting by Samuel Palmer, a drawing by Raphael, a painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and a painting by William Hoare of Bath. As in previous years, the Committee has repeated its call for change to the tax system. It would like to see the “douceur” mechanism which encourages owners to sell to UK institutions through private treaty extended to all cases where tax might be offset through transferring ownership of a cultural object to the nation.  DCMS 

Also

The Independent reports that Sotheby's has cancelled its sale of a 16th-century ivory mask from Benin which was planned for February.  The paper reports that a number of people have contacted the auction house to complain about the sale of the mask, which is currently owned by descendants of a former British Government official involved in an 1897 British invasion of Benin, a city-state in what is now Nigeria.  Independent

  MUSEUM NEWS
 

National Conservation Centre close to visitors

Liverpool’s National Conservation Centre closed to visitors on 17 December because National Museums Liverpool (NML) could no longer to afford to keep it open as a visitor attraction. Behind-the-scenes conservation work will continue and will not be affected by the closure of the visitor part of the building. In a statement, David Fleming, NML Director said: We bitterly regret having to close one of our venues to visitors but this is the harsh reality of government cuts. If you cut public spending there is pain for the public." NML also announced that Sudley House and Piermaster’s House at the Albert Dock, which had previously been threatened with closure, will remain open.  In December the National Museums Liverpool offered a second voluntary redundancy scheme to staff. A similar scheme over the summer saw 20 staff leave.   National Museums Liverpool

Politicians help to curate Government Art Collection’s first public exhibition

Public, political and diplomatic figures, including Nick Clegg, Samantha Cameron and Lord Mandelson will select works from the Government Art Collection for an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery this summer. Highlights from the Collection will be shown in a series of five successive displays, marking the first time the collection has been shown in a public gallery in its 113 year history. The Collection has more than 13,500 works dating from the 16th century to the present day, shown in over 400 embassies and Government buildings worldwide.  Following the end of its run at the Whitechapel Gallery the exhibition will tour Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and Ulster Museum in late 2012 and 2013. DCMS Meanwhile, a BBC Radio 4 programme What the Minister Saw, broadcast on 2 January, examined the selections of serving Ministers from the Government Art Collection for their offices, and contrasted the modernist tastes of Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne MP with the rather more conservative choices of Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke MP, whose office is adorned with Tudor portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and her chief adviser, Lord Burghley BBC

Foul Play or Opportunity Knocks? Deaccessioning and disposal

The law firm Farrer & Co is hosting a seminar at the National Gallery on Tuesday 10 May about the deaccessioning of objects from public collections, changing attitudes to deaccession, and possible reform of existing procedures.  The proceedings will be chaired by Dr Stephen Deuchar CBE, Director of the Art Fund and confirmed speakers include Ed Vaizey MP; Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust; Dr Johann Kräftner, Director, Director of the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein, and Gary Tinterow, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  For further details and information about attendance at the conference, please contact Nicky Misquitta at Farrer & Co on 020 3375 7329 or nicky.misquitta@farrer.co.uk.

2014: First World War Centenary

The Imperial War Museum plans to lead the national commemoration of the First World War centenary in 2014 and has issued a call for national and international partners in doing so. The Imperial War Museum has also announced details of the major regeneration project which will transform the museum over the next decade. The architects Foster + Partners have developed a plan to create 20% more gallery space and upgrade visitor facilities and exhibition spaces within the footprint of the existing building.  The new First World War Galleries are due to open by Summer 2014, and will be approximately twice the size of the current galleries.  The Museum’s central atrium space will also be transformed, redisplaying and interpreting the Museum’s large objects. Longer term regeneration plans include a new ground-level entrance and landscaping at the front of the building, creating a community space to improve public access and provide a home for the iconic naval guns.  Imperial War Museum

National museums win Visit London Awards 2010

The achievements of national museums were recognised in the Visit London Awards 2010 at the prize ceremony on 8 December.  Museums and galleries scooped all the prizes for Marketing/PR Campaign of the Year, with the Museum of London winning Gold Prize for the launch of the Galleries of Modern London, the National Portrait Gallery winning the Silver Prize for its Take Another Look campaign, and the Royal Academy picking up Bronze for Anish Kapoor. The Best New Tourism Experience was won by the Victoria & Albert Museum's Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, with the Museum of London taking Silver, and Bronze going to London Zoo.  The Natural History Museum won two People's Choice Awards: the Evening Standard’s Best London for Free Experience Award, and the Evening Standard’s Best Family Fun Award. The Science Museum won the sliver prize in the Best Tourism Experience category.  Visit London Also  The Natural History Museum has launched a new interactive film which uses augmented reality to bring the story of evolution to life. The film developed in partnership with BBC Research and Development and the Wellcome Trust mixes CGI models, BBC natural history footage and interviews with leading Natural History Museums scientists and uses 3 independent screens, web cams and specially designed handheld devices to enable visitors to experience extinct creatures appearing to roam around them. More Derry-Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013, will host the Turner Prize in 2013.  This will be only the third time that the Turner Prize has been moved away from Tate Britain, and the first time it has been held outside England.  The Culture Company set up to deliver the UK City of Culture 2013 programme has also begun recruitment for a non-executive board and a full-time Director.  City of Culture 2013 An article in the Los Angeles Times on 19 December described the magic of taking the kids to London for Christmas and included glowing reviews of several national museums. Dinosaurs beat the jet-lag and the family visited the Imperial War Museum three times! LA Times back to top

  CULTURAL SECTOR NEWS
 

London 2012 Festival details announced

The first group of commissions and special projects for the London 2012 Festival was announced on 7 December. The London 2012 Festival is a 12-week celebration of arts and creativity, which opens on Midsummer's Day 21 June 2012 and runs until the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. It is the finale of the four year Cultural Olympiad. Over 1,000 events, with an estimated three million attendees, will take place during the London 2012 Festival.  The opening event will be a Peace One Day production in Derry~Londonderry.  The commissions and projects include major exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, British Museum and the Royal Academy, the Tate Movie project, which has already involved 3000 children, and collaboration between the National Gallery and The Royal Ballet called Metamorphosis: Titian 2012. Principal funders of the London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the London 2012 Festival. London 2012

Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Government outlined its plans for the legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on 20 December.  The report includes mention of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, stating that “the Games also offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the best of the UK’s culture, creativity, industry and innovation.  As well as the estimated potential global audience of 4 billion people, we expect to welcome to London 120 Heads of State, as well as 14,700 participants, 320,000 extra visitors and 20,000 accredited journalists.”  The report describes plans to deliver a lasting tourism legacy for the whole country as well as London, and describes the plan “to create a new fund aimed at generating £1bn worth of PR and marketing activity in the years around 2012” as “well advanced. We expect the campaign to run over four years and have very clear commercial targets. These will include delivering one million additional overseas visitors each year and £2 billion in extra visitor spend in the UK, with the potential to generate up to 50,000 new jobs across the country.”  The report also points to “a global public diplomacy campaign, involving specially commissioned films, events and activities, and online, digital tools… developed to invite foreign audiences to take a fresh and positive look at the UK.”   DCMS website

UK tourism predicted to start to recover in 2011

VisitBritain predicts a 1% rise in the number of inbound travellers to the UK this year, and expects their spending to increase by 2% in nominal terms to £17.2 billion. This figure is considerably lower in real terms than the best year for inbound visitor spend (once adjusting for inflation), 2006, with spending of £18.4bn at 2010 prices.  VisitBritain has outlined its global marketing campaigns for 2011, including plans to showcase the whole country by capitalising on the worldwide interest in the Royal Wedding on 29 April. VisitBritain

Call for evidence on Intellectual Property and economic growth

The Government has asked Professor Ian Hargreaves to lead a short review of the Intellectual Property (IP) framework (law and practice) to consider how it might be changed in the interest of promoting innovation and economic growth. Professor Hargreaves has issued a call for evidence on both how the system is currently operating, and on possible alternatives.  Areas covered by the review include copyright, patents and enforcement of rights, competition and SME access to Intellectual Property Services.  The section on copyright asks for evidence of areas where the UK copyright framework does not deliver the optimal outcomes and whether established rules or practices obstruct research and innovation.  The deadline for submission of evidence is 1 March. Professor Hargreaves is due to report to Government in April. Intellectual Property Office

A Creative Block? The future of the UK creative industries

The Work Foundation has published new research looking at the effect of major long- and short-term trends on the creative industries’ ability to assist the UK recovery.  The report A Creative Block?: The future of the UK creative industries demonstrates how the UK creative industries are now under threat from a combination of recession-induced cuts, the global trends towards convergence and digitalisation, and concrete action from other governments to maximise the recovery-boosting economic potential of their own creative industries. The Work Foundation

Also

The bookseller Waterstone’s and the charity The Reading Agency, which is funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, have announced that they will work in partnership to build links between libraries and bookshops and promote reading.  The partnership will see bookshops and libraries working together locally to host major author events, and special children’s and family events, and form and support reading groups. Reading Agency The BBC Trust published The BBC’s Strategy: Putting Quality First on 14 December, the final conclusions of the Trust’s review of BBC’s services in train since July 2009.  The strategy includes a 25% reduction in the BBC Online budget, to improve the overall quality and coherence of the service and ‘do fewer things better’.  More Crossrail, the new London rail development, has announced plans for a public arts programme to support the regeneration and community engagement of each area along the route. Working with the London-based cultural consultancy, Futurecity, the Crossrail Art Programme aims to promote the transport scheme as a catalyst for businesses, arts and stakeholder communities around the new stations to thrive together. More  Tickets are on sale now for the second annual State of the Arts conference organised by the RSA and Arts Council England. The event on 10 February will debate issues around resilience, audience and the value of arts and culture. More The Eden Project in Cornwall has been given planning permission to build a geothermal power plant on its site, drawing heat from rocks 4.5km below ground. The plant will power the Eden and generate excess electricity to send to the National Grid, enough to provide energy for 5000 homes.  More back to top

  APPOINTMENTS & HONOURS
 
Congratulations to Dr Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean Museum who has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours for services to museums.  Janet Vittmayer, Director of the Horniman Museum, and Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, were also awarded CBEs.  Helen Ashby, Curator, National Railway Museum, York and Dillian Gordon, formerly Curator, National Gallery were awarded OBEs. There were several honours for philanthropists including Veron Ellis, the Chairman of English National Opera, and Alec Reed, the philanthropist behind The Big Give, who were both awarded Knighthoods. David Verey has been appointed as DCMS lead non-executive director.  Mr Verey is a senior adviser at Lazard & Co Ltd. He is also a Director on the board of Daily Mail and General Trust plc, has been chair of Art Fund since 2004, and chaired the Tate for six years.   In 2004 he was appointed CBE for services to art. His appointment follows a cross-Whitehall exercise to appoint lead non-executive directors to the boards of each Government department.  DCMS The Queen has approved the appointment of eight new members of the Privy Council.  These include Liberal Democrat culture spokesperson Don Foster MP and former Conservative arts spokesperson Hugo Swire MP. Number 10 statement  

  NMDC Members Highlights of 2011
 
This year will see major museum projects opening including the Museum of Liverpool, the National Maritime Museum’s Sammy Ofer Wing, National Museum of Scotland and the Riverside Museum, Glasgow.  Major exhibitions include Leonardo da Vinci paintings at the National Gallery, the Aesthetic Movement and Post-Modernism at the V&A, Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, a startling array of relics and treasure at the British Museum's Treasures of Heaven and life-size animatronic dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.  Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales: April sees the official opening of Creu Hanes Making History at St Fagans: National History Museum, an exhibition on a tumultuous two hundred years that changed the history of Wales forever and a £20m project to transform the visitor experience.  From Steep Hillsides: Ancient Rock Carvings from Dazu, China opening at National Museum Cardiff on 26 January provides a unique opportunity to see 9th to 13th century rock carvings which have never been seen before outside China.  More Ashmolean Museum: The new Egyptian Galleries will reopen at the end of 2011 following a £5m project to redesign and redisplay four existing galleries and create a fifth gallery in space currently occupied by the Shop.  Exhibitions include a celebration the work of painter, engraver and Lucien Pissarro with the first comprehensive display of his Eragny Press 1895-1914: 32 books printed by Lucien and his wife Esther at their home in London, along with his preparatory drawings, and paintings by his father, Camille Pissarro.  Heracles to Alexander The Great: Treasures From The Royal Capital of Macedon opening in April is the first major archaeological exhibition in the new temporary exhibition galleries and will include over 500 objects from Vergina, northern Greece, many of which are on public display for the first time.  More Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery:  The exhibition The Poetry of Drawing (29 January-15 May) will be the most comprehensive survey of Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours ever staged.  The exhibition includes key loans from public and private lenders as well as Birmingham’s own collections.  The exhibition will tour to Sydney, Australia in the summer. More British Library: In Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It (20 May -25 September), the British Library will consider the genre of science fiction and invite visitors to consider the world of the future, alien worlds, parallel worlds and virtual worlds; and in an exhibition provisionally entitled Royal: Illuminated Manuscripts of the Kings and Queens of England (11 November – 11 March 2012), the Library will present a selection of the finest manuscripts collected and annotated by the monarchs of England between the 9th and 16th centuries. More British Museum: Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World (3 March- 3 July) will highlight some of the most important archaeological discoveries from ancient Afghanistan and will display over 200 objects from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul as well as selected items from the British Museum.  Treasures of Heaven: saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe (23 June - 9 October) will bring together for the first time some of the finest sacred treasures of the medieval age including three thorns thought to be from the Crown of Thorns, fragments of the True Cross, the rib of St Peter, the breast milk of the Virgin Mary, the hair of St John the Evangelist, and the Mandylion of Edessa (one of the earliest known likenesses of Jesus). The exhibition will featuring over 150 objects drawn from more than 40 institutions including the Vatican, European church treasuries, museums from the USA and Europe and the British Museum’s collection.  More Glasgow Museums: The Riverside Museum is due to open this Spring on the banks of the Clyde and Kelvin, providing a new home for the collections of the Museum of Transport, in a purpose-built venue designed by Zaha Hadid.  Although the space is not much bigger, the new building will have more than twice the number of objects on display than the Museum of Transport and the flexible design will enable displays to be changed easily.  The new museum will also incorporate the Clyde Maritime Trust, which owns and operates the tall ship Glenlee, which will be berthed alongside the Riverside Museum. Support for the £74 million project has come from Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Glasgow Harbour. Kelvingrove Art Gallery is currently hosting A River Runs Through It, an exhibition of work inspired by the Riverside site, all of which are for sale to raise funds for the Riverside Museum. More Imperial War MuseumA major new exhibition, Once Upon A Wartime: Classic War Stories for Children opens at IWM London in February, bringing five classic stories of war dramatically to life.  Also at IWM London from April, Witness: Women War Artists focuses on work by women war artists from the First World War to the Kosovo conflict. War Correspondent: reporting under fire since 1914, opening at IWM North in May, will be the UK’s largest ever exhibition about reporting war, featuring some of the people whose words, images, voices and faces bring the story from the frontline to us at home.  And in September, IWM North will mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with an exhibition which will include a damaged British Union flag discovered in the wreckage of the World Trade Center on display for the first time.  At the Churchill War Rooms in August, rarely seen items relating to the friendship of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill will be on show to mark the 70th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter, the establishment of the 'special relationship' in 1941. And HMS Belfast will this year launch its new gun turret experience, which will recreate the effect of fighting at sea through the use of lights, audio, videos and projections. More The Museum of London will be launching a new app in partnership with Nokia, which will guide users to 200 locations around the capital of musical importance. The exhibition London Street Photography (18 February – 4 September) will explore how street photography has evolved from 1850 to the present day and examine the relationship between photographers, London’s streets and the people who live on them; and, at Museum of London Docklands, Pirates: the Captain Kidd Story (20 May – 30 October), aims to reveal the truth about the real pirates who ruled our seas over 300 years ago.  Through maps, letters and illustrations, visitors will be able to follow the true story of the infamous Captain Kidd in this family-friendly exhibition and learn how Kidd’s legend still shapes our idea of pirates today. At the end of the year, the Museum of London will look towards the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth early next year with an exhibition of his life and work. More National Army Museum: Exhibitions include Indian Armies, Indian Art: Soldiers, collectors and artists 1780–1880 exploring the cultural exchange between the British and India in the 18th and 19th centuries.  More National Galleries of Scotland: The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopens this autumn following the £17.6m Portrait of the Nation project to restore the building to its original design, open spaces that have long been closed to the public, and to create vital new learning and visitor facilities, such as a new education suite, auditorium, library and study centre, and Visitor Hub. Exhibitions include an Elizabeth Blackadder retrospective at the Royal Scottish Academy Building (2 July-23 October), ARTIST ROOMS Jeff Koons at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art (19 March -3 July), French Drawings: Poussin to Seurat at the National Gallery of Scotland (5 Febrary-1 May), and F.C.B Cadell: Scottish Colourists Series, the first retrospective of Cadell's work at a public gallery, at the Dean Gallery (15 October 2011 - 18 March 2012).  More National Gallery: Leonardo da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan (9 November 2011-5 February 2012) will be the most complete display of Leonardo's surviving paintings ever held.  This unprecedented exhibition brings together international loans never before seen in the UK, including works from the Louvre, Hermitage and Vatican.  Jan Gossaert's Renaissance 23 February – 30 May 2011 presents the results of a complete re-examination of the Flemish art's work, including new technical discoveries. The exhibition is organised in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and supported by the Flemish Government. Devotion by Design (6 July - 2 October) part of the programme of summer shows drawn from the National Gallery’s permanent collection, explores the function, the original location and the development of Italian altarpieces during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. More National Maritime Museum: The Sammy Ofer Wing will be opened in 2011, a £35m project which creates a special exhibitions gallery, greatly increased library and archive facilities and a brand new entrance through Greenwich Park. The new wing opens with an immersive digital installation, High Arctic, commissioned in collaboration with the charity Cape Farewell.  A new permanent gallery will open in autumn 2011 exploring the history and continuing relevance of Britain’s trade with Asia; and a greatly increased library and archive services. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich will run a special Impact' season (March-September) looking at meteorites and other visitors from space, as well as welcoming back the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. National Museum of Science and Industry:  The Science Museum's exhibition programme includes Psychoanalysis: the Unconscious of Everyday Life and Dan Dare & The Birth of Hi-Tech Britain, exploring the role played by technology in creating post-war Britain.  Highlights at the National Railway Museum include the unveiling of the Flying Scotsman following meticulous restoration by the NRM team before she begins her operating schedule on the mainline, a Japan Festival and the opening of a new art gallery for temporary exhibitions funded by Funded by The Foundation for Sport and the Arts. The National Media Museum has an exhibition on The Lives of Great Photographers, with photographs by some of the greatest photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Museum also will be marking the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain with events in June around the "Golden Age of TV". National Museums Liverpool: The major event of 2011 for National Museums Liverpool is the opening of the £72 million Museum of Liverpool in the summer. The world’s first national museum devoted to a regional city’s history, the museum will reflect Liverpool’s global significance through its unique geography, history and culture. Two major exhibitions will be staged at the Walker Art Gallery: A Collector’s Eye: Cranach to Pissarro (18 February – 15 May) will feature 64 works from a stunning private collection, spanning the 15th to the 19th centuries; and Like you’ve never been away: Photographs, Paul Trevor (3 June – 25 September) will showcase Trevor’s Liverpool street photographs taken in 1975 as part of an inner city deprivation project. At the International Slavery Museum, ‘42’ Women of Sierra Leone (opening 4 March) will present 42 Lee Karen Stow colour photographs, some never seen before. More National Museums Northern Ireland: 31st May 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic. In Belfast, where the ship was built, National Museums Northern Ireland will celebrate this important landmark by launching a unique visitor experience at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum. Through TITANIC: The Exhibition and The People’s Story, visitors can explore why Titanic and her sister ships were built in Belfast, as well as find out about life onboard through fascinating objects and personal stories relating to the loss of the Titanic in 1912. An innovative Titanic trail will link the exhibition to the outdoor Folk Museum where people’s daily routines, activities and stories in the age of Titanic will be recreated. More National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN): The Royal Navy Submarine Museum aims to complete fundraising for the restoration of HMS Alliance and will begin the capital works which will be completed in 2013, with a total cost £6.6m. Work will also continue on the £4.2m development of new galleries exploring the history of the Navy in the 20th and 21st centuries at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, to be opened in 2014 in time for the commemoration of the centenary of the start of the First World War.  The NMRN also plan to complete their affiliation agreement with HMS Unicorn in Dundee and play an active role in finding a future for HMS Caroline, the last surviving warship which fought at Jutland. The Fleet Air Arm Museum will open a newly refitted restaurant in Feb 2011 and will upgrade the award winning Ark Royal Aircraft Carrier Experience with a new 1000 sq metre cyclorama.  Royal Naval Museum  Fleet Air Arm Museum National Museums Scotland: The re-opening of the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland is the major event of 2011, with 16 new galleries in which 80% of the thousands of objects on display will be shown for the first time. Visitors will be able to see objects including a life-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Nobel Prize Gold Medal awarded to Sir Alexander Fleming for his discovery of penicillin, and the world’s earliest surviving colour television. From October, the Museum will be telling the story of one of the world’s most adventurous seafarers, and the inspiration for Captain Horatio Hornblower as well as many other books and films, in the exhibition Admiral Cochrane, The Real Master and Commander. At the National War Museum, Humanity In War (opens 25 February) will depict warfare across the last 150 years from the American Civil War to current conflicts through photography selected from the collection of the International Committee of the Red Cross. More National Portrait Gallery: Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio And Street (17 February until 30 May), the first major exhibition for 30 years of this important early 20th century photographer, will display E.O. Hoppé’s strikingly modernist portraits of society figures and important personalities from the worlds of literature, politics and the arts alongside his fascinating photojournalist studies of everyday British people.  Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer, 1952 – 68 (10 March - 19 June 2011) offers an insight into cultural life in post-war Britain and an opportunity to see iconic works, not exhibited for over 40 years. In the autumn, First Actresses: Nell Gwynn to Sarah Siddons will explore the vibrant and sometimes controversial relationship between art, gender and the theatre in eighteenth-century England including works by Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Lawrence.  More Natural History Museum: A new permanent gallery, Images of Nature, showcasing the Museum’s extensive collection of prints, watercolours and oil paintings, alongside intriguing scientific images such as a three dimensional scan of a shark’s head, opens on 21 January. Chinese botanical and zoological watercolours are the focus for the gallery’s first temporary exhibition programme, with displays changing every few months. Works by a Shanghai-based contemporary artist, inspired by the collections from China, will also feature in the gallery. Age of the Dinosaur (22 April – 4 September) is the Museum’s summer blockbuster exhibition, which will transport visitors back more than 65 million years to encounter life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The Museum will also be investigating the sensory world of butterflies in Sensational Butterflies (5 April – 25 September), and will be “pulling off nature’s fig leaf ”and exploring the science of sex in the multi-sensory exhibition, Sexual Nature (11 February – 2 October). More  The Royal Air Force Museum: The museum will open The Grahame-White Watch Office in spring 2011 in a historic watch-tower which was once part of the former Claude Graham-White aircraft factory in Hendon.  The building will become a learning resource reflecting the achievements of this early aviation pioneer and house a permanent exhibition on the history of the local area.  More Royal Armouries: The new-look Fort Nelson in Hampshire is due for completion in the summer, following its £3.5 million revamp. The project – part funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of nearly £2m - will transform the Victorian fort into a visitor attraction fit for the 21st Century, including new galleries, plus visitor and education facilities. The Royal Armouries will also be working with Historic Royal Palaces on a major project to restore and re-display the White Tower at the Tower of London, for completion in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. More Sir John Soane's Museum: Work will start in February on the Opening Up The Soane project, a three-year £7m programme of restoration and redevelopment to open more areas and aspects of the collection to the public and improve visitor facilities.  The Museum will launch a Public Appeal on 14 February to raise the final £500,000 of the £7m project cost.  The Museum will also this year complete its Building Sites Cataloguing project publishing a collection of Sir John Soane’s architectural drawings online, funded by the Designation Development Fund.  Exhibitions this year include Bad Seed: Michael Petry’s Second Installation (4 February – 12 March) in which the acclaimed multi-media artists will display a new response to the collection and Soane’s life, and The Petrified Music of Architecture: Sir Herbert Oakley’s Collection of Cathedral Models (5 April – 25 June).  More Tate: Tate Modern and Tate Britain will both be staging major retrospectives this year: the first in London for fifty years of the work of Joan Mirō at Tate Modern (14 April – 11 September) followed by Gerhard Richter: Panorama (6 October 2011 - 8 January 2012), while Tate Britain will be examining the legacy of the architect James Stirling (April – August). Tate Britain also focuses on the key works of Susan Hiller (1 February – 15 May) and the exhibition of Watercolour includes medieval to contemporary works.  While Tate Liverpool presents René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle, the first major exhibition of the Belgian Surrealist in the UK in almost 20 years (24 June-16 October), and Tate St Ives presents the first major exhibition of the work of Simon Starling, the 2005 Turner Prize winner (5 February-2 May).  Video artist, Tacita Dean will undertake the twelfth commission in the Unilever Series for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, to be unveiled on 11 October.  Work will also continue on the major redevelopment projects at Tate Britain and Tate Modern. More  Tyne & Wear Museums: The Laing Art Gallery will host the first major exhibition of 19th century artist John Martin's work in more than 30 years. Part of the Great British Art Debate, John Martin: Heaven & Hell (5 March – 5 June) will draw from the Laing’s collection, together with masterpieces loaned from Tate Britain and other galleries in the UK and abroad. The Great North Museum welcomes an exhibition, Coming of Age (12 January – 2 March), commissioned by Newcastle University, which brings together the scientific and artistic communities by exploring aspects of ageing and life expectancy.  Work is underway on the re-development of the third floor galleries at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum in North Tyneside. A new temporary exhibition space, opening in April, will enable the Museum to host a wider variety of exhibitions and the development is a £356,000 project funded predominantly through the DCMS / Wolfson Foundation and the DCMS. Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields is also currently undergoing a redevelopment of some of its exhibition spaces, which will re-open in April 2011.  www.twmuseums.org.uk Victoria & Albert Museum:  An installation based retrospective of the work of Yohji Yamamoto, one of the world’s most influential fashion designers will take place in the Exhibition Court and throughout the museum (12 March -10 July).  The V&A will also stage the first international exhibition to explore the unconventional creativity of the Aesthetic Movement in Britain, The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900; (2 April – 17 July) and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–90 will open in September.  In The Tiger Who Came To Tea, the Museum of Childhood will present a retrospective of the children’s author and illustrator, Judith Kerr (28 May – 4 September).  More Wallace Collection: Work will continue on the final elements in the refurbishment and improvements programme overseen by the Director, Dame Rosalind Savill, who retires this September: in early 2012, the Collection will unveil the newly-refurbished Dutch galleries, and work on the Great Gallery is due for completion in 2014.  Meanwhile, the Collection will this year stage a two-part exhibition celebrating the work of Antoine Watteau - Esprit et Vérité: Watteau and His Circle (12 March -5 June) is a redisplay of the Watteau canvases in the Wallace Collection, one of the most important groups of Watteau paintings in the world, and a separate exhibition of masterworks (including by Rembrandt and Rubens) from the collection of Watteau’s publisher, Jean de Julienne.  The Collection will also stage its next contemporary art exhibition in the summer with the work of the artist-goldsmith Kevin Coates (23 June – 25 September).  More back to top

  NMDC JOBS 
 
Our jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk also has details of over 20 current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Director, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Analyst Programmer, The British Museum
  • Curator, History of Science, Science Museum
  • Events Manager (Venue Hire) National Portrait Gallery
  • Finance Director, Sir John Soane's Museum
  • Head of Individual Giving, The British Museum
  • Retail and Admissions Supervisor, Imperial War Museum North
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

What becomes of the broken hearted? They become museum exhibits

Zagreb's Museum of Broken Relationships has just returned to its permanent home after a worldwide tour. The Museum offers a chance to "overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum's collection" and features discarded love tokens from around the world, including a prosthetic leg.  BBC News back to top
 
 

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